How smart can we go: Have we reached peak smartphone?
I recently purchased a flagship device from one of the top 3 smartphone manufacturers worldwide. While setting up the device, my 4-year-old son said “Dad, this is just like your old phone”. This got me thinking, is this a case of The Emperor who had no clothes? Or are we actually upgrading?
According to Android Authority, there are two categories; the pre and post iPhone era’s. The pre being where we saw the greatest rate of change in smartphones where every device was different in shape, size and system. The post iphone era is where we saw phones with front and back cameras as well as the first phones with dedicated app stores. This most certainly brought about a world of change where major change happened and video chat, smartphone photography and even real time multiplayer gaming came to the fore.
All those features which were once game changers for smartphone owners are now what are considered “stock” on any phone you purchase. However, in the past 2 years we have gotten better backlight technology which makes phones smoother and give better battery life. We have seen camera upgrades where all top manufacturers are adding artificial intelligence as well as more cameras to get better quality shots and this includes night mode shooting where those kinds of images would have been impossible a mere 5 years ago. We are also seeing a first generation of folding phone, with Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei leading the charge.
We are now looking forward to seeing wireless charging getting better, 5G capabilities and also wireless audio to name a few. I guess the simple answer to my question is...No
Even though we are not getting those fundamental or drastic changes we saw in the past, we are still seeing big leaps taken over a longer period of time. Just as we saw with other things like cars for instance, where the great leap was the jump from horse drawn carriages to cars. Then small tweaks to cars which looking back were moving the industry forward to eventual self-driving cars, so too are we seeing fundamental changes happening but slowly yet effectively.
We have seen manufacturers toying with the idea of glasses, watches, and now folding phones.
Maybe this is a period of trial and error and through this will come the next big leap. For now though, we will have to settle for minor yet important updates, even if just to up our photography game or open instagram a split second faster.